Maps of Time and Tide.

Written by Seamus Dolly

Maps, for centuries have beenrepparttar business of cartographers with mariners traditionally being able to make their own, in uncharted waters. Yes,repparttar 110097 expression is still used in various contexts. I suppose that givenrepparttar 110098 nature of open seas, one had little option but to find their own way. When a courier pigeon wasrepparttar 110099 quickest communication device for help, an understanding of mapping was essential to evade Davy’s Locker.

Land based cartographers were respected for their diligence and discipline that their trade required. Bench marking is another expression still used where a reference point is needed. It came from land surveyors and map makers. Particular heights above sea level were transferred inland, further and further, to give mappers some idea, as it couldn’t be guessed with any accuracy otherwise. Indeed, twenty years ago, these benchmarks were heavily relied upon, whererepparttar 110100 presence of any other reference, was absent.

Now though, local authorities and surveyors use GPS or Global Positioning System. Even local civil engineers have access to this technology, and use it for projects such as small housing and commercial estates to anything bigger. Sorepparttar 110101 traditional benchmarking system, which was little more than a ground anchored “pad” of stone or concrete, has already been replaced by something that can view an area in a larger relative context, a satellite.

A satellites’ height above ground, or sea if you like, affords it a referencing advantage. There is no longer a need to physically walk torepparttar 110102 sea (sea level), and determine levels, thereafter. The sea is water, to some degree, and whilerepparttar 110103 earth is round also to some degree, water was “the great leveller”. It has also been replaced by various liquids that are more visible, and have less tendency to obscurerepparttar 110104 inside of levelling chambers. Some have anti-freezing properties. You see, any accuracy relied onrepparttar 110105 visual clarity ofrepparttar 110106 waters position within its’ clear container, and of courserepparttar 110107 mappers understanding of parallax error. Parallax error is mainly a human one, where something is not viewed, correctly, or in cases like this, not viewed at 90 degrees exactly.

A photogrammetrist is a different version of a cartographer, and though their purpose isrepparttar 110108 same, their approach is different. They use aeroplanes in place of mountain boots, and indeed helicopters, which speed uprepparttar 110109 process. Indeed, some areas can only be practically mapped this way.

Do You Ken John Peel?

Written by James Collins

Do You Ken John Peel?

My daughter Abi turned thirteen recently and as head ofrepparttar family she thinks it's about time her parents became vegetarians. She has been a convert, with occasional lapses, for around two years. I'm certainly not againstrepparttar 110096 idea. We hardly eat meat anyway; justrepparttar 110097 odd bacon sandwich and an extremely rare steak (rare inrepparttar 110098 numerical rather thanrepparttar 110099 French culinary sense), but it would be good to lose that feeling of guilt experienced when a cow looks at you overrepparttar 110100 fence with those mournful eyes.

Actuallyrepparttar 110101 cow is not at all sad - it's probably wondering if you are going to pass it some of that long green grass onrepparttar 110102 other side ofrepparttar 110103 fence, butrepparttar 110104 guilt is real enough.

Of course, not everybody feels that way. In another life I used to be a musician and I remember driving to a gig with a black American blues singer called Johnnie Mars. I pointed out some ducks which were flying low overrepparttar 110105 band bus in formation. Johnnie looked up and said yep, he thought they were mighty fine, and after a moment, 'Especially with roast potatoes'.

This was said without a trace of irony. He told me later, withrepparttar 110106 same straight face, that he was well known in East Poland and Latvia, which reminded me irresistibly of Dorothy Parker's line about being famous in two continents - 'Greenland and Iceland'.

Anyway, as I said, I'd like to become a vegetarian, but I think you have to pickrepparttar 110107 right time. It's like giving up smoking, something I finally managed to do ten years ago after many attempts. One day, allrepparttar 110108 conditions were right and I stopped, just like that.

That's how I imagine it would be when giving up meat, although as far as I know, meat is not addictive. There'll be no retrievals of half used packs of bacon fromrepparttar 110109 bin, or furtive trips torepparttar 110110 corner shop, ('Just going to takerepparttar 110111 dog aroundrepparttar 110112 block, dear. Won't be long').

These ruminations (isn't that what cows do? - Ed) were brought on byrepparttar 110113 fact that we've recently moved house. We're now twelve miles further north and within sight ofrepparttar 110114 Moray Firth. (In Scotland an estuary is called a firth, so for example we haverepparttar 110115 Firth of Forth - see?). Anyway, in those few miles, we've moved out ofrepparttar 110116 Highlands and ontorepparttar 110117 coastal plain, which drops gently down torepparttar 110118 sea, about six miles away, giving us a clear view ofrepparttar 110119 few solitary cottages and farmhouses inrepparttar 110120 area, plusrepparttar 110121 remains of Duffus castle andrepparttar 110122 Lossiemouth lighthouse. All this is very different fromrepparttar 110123 Highlands, with its hills and valleys, rough ravines and forests. Almost a different country, almost a different people. Beforerepparttar 110124 Jacobite uprising inrepparttar 110125 18th century andrepparttar 110126 subsequent destruction ofrepparttar 110127 clan system,repparttar 110128 'wild, wykked hieland men' used to swoop down ontorepparttar 110129 coastal plain, steal allrepparttar 110130 cattle they could cope with, burn a few cottages and disappear back intorepparttar 110131 hills.

Well,repparttar 110132 clans are no longer a force, and instead there are large shooting estates, sometimes owned by old established families and sometimes by wealthy newcomers. Clients payrepparttar 110133 equivalent ofrepparttar 110134 price of a good second hand car for a few days shooting. We used to live in a farmhouse right inrepparttar 110135 middle of one of these estates. Pheasants were as common as pigeons and sparrows are in town. It was not at all unusual to see two or three elderly gents stroll past our house, stepping stiff-legged over barbed wire fences (ouch), with their broken shotguns cradled over one arm and their labradors at heel.

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